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and all done without ‘Sponsorship’

By Mike Cunningham On October 25th, 2014 at 11:45 am

When one of the usual ‘Record-breaking’ stunts is performed these days, usually to loud applause and cries of ‘Look how brave I am’ from the breaker, usually whilst wrapped in the flags of the commercial sponsors, I tend to turn the page rather quickly. I have no time for  the thrill-seekers, the self-promotion, those amongst us who are preparing their next book which tells how they did, or usually failed, to accomplish the feat of endurance, or other foolishness, which has been the object of their self-imposed striving.

I can understand (just), the antics of a younger Branson, tearing across the Atrlantic in his kayak-on-steroids, as he was publicising his company’s name, along with his airline; which is why I both applaud and approve of the Google executive who broke the world record for altitude before freefalling and then parachuting back to a rather tame Earth from an astounding 135,890 feet in the sky.

This amazing individual  said Google had been willing to help with the project, but he declined company support, worried that his jump would become a marketing event.

Now that is what I would call a true record, and what is more, for his self-effacing and humble attitude, he should be accepted as a true model of how Englishmen used to behave, before the advent of skanks who just want to be ‘famous’ commenced their invasion of the airwaves.

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to some I’m sure I’m mad

By The Troll On October 25th, 2014 at 3:44 am

I have spent the last few months thinking I was dying, yes we are all dying a little everyday. Over the last 4 months I’ve lost 36 pounds, and no I have not been on the grapefruit diet, or taking speed.

I didn’t know what was wrong. I have had no more pain than usual, no unexplained bleeding, no symptom that stood out. It started when I stopped drinking soda. I do this occasionally and it’s good for dropping 10-15lbs. However I kept losing weight.  Both my father and grandfather died of colon cancer, my father was 47. Needless to say I go for the fun tests every two years.  Even though I did these tests last year I immediately had them all run again.  No cancer was found in every test, and I had a lot of tests.

What is happening is I am starving to death. It seems I have Achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass into your stomach. Achalasia occurs when the food tube (esophagus) loses the ability to squeeze food down, and the muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach doesn’t fully relax. The reason for these problems is damage to the nerves in the esophagus. There’s no cure, but achalasia symptoms can usually be managed with minimally invasive (endoscopic) therapy or surgery.

Well I have had the surgery, we shall see what happens.

During the last few months, besides arguing with you, I have been arguing with both Angels and Demons.  Unlike some of you I believe in god. If you believe in god consequently you must also believe in angels and demons. The existence of such creatures is alien to most, even believers.  I happen to believe in both because I have encountered both, now scoff if you must. I have no problem as you all know at being scoffed at. It happens here daily.

My duty to my fellow man requires me to do service, it is also part of my faith.  I have given that service in the form of time. Time spent working with those that suffer from addiction.  If you spend enough time with addicts (30 years) you will acquire a belief of both demons and angels.  You will bear witness to the influence of both.  You can see the damage and healing that these creatures can do.  Here is how I heard the battle framed, God and Satan made a bet for the Earth, whoever gets the most souls wins. No direct contact with humans only influence, they call it balance. Demons stay in Hell and Angels stay in Heaven. The Great Detente of the Original Superpowers. Mankind are the players in their Sport. Both sides can coach, they just can’t play themselves.  Those lines are from a movie one that has nothing to do with any of this they do however fit, these influences are played out on every level of humanity. They are just easier to see taking place with addicts. They can happen right before your eyes.

If you witness the way addicts either live or die depending on their reactions to who is whispering to them, you quickly learn to accept the existence of these influences. You will see damnation and salvation and all doubt is removed.  That is why my belief is unshakable. The problem is you take someone that believes on a level that I do, you present them with the possibility that their time is up. Imagine the things that would go through your head.

Needless to say I have spent the last I’d say 2 months arguing with both demon and angel the value of my life.  It is a rhetorical battle, the decision of where your soul goes has been made by the choices you have made throughout your life. The argument is to find peace with that final judgement. Arguing with demons and angels never gets you anywhere you never win with either side. The argument is with yourself they are just your audience. The last thing you do is barter with them, no matter which side you barter with you get screwed.

It has been an interesting argument for me, I have found myself wanting in more areas than not. It’s hard to judge yourself, I don’t think anyone can judge themselves worthy. If they do they are either not being honest, or critical enough. I am glad I am not my own final judge.  Now the format of my trying to accept my mortality is mine, not yours.  Someday we all face our own mortality,  how will you review your own life? How or will you make peace with yourself.  Viewing the victories and failures of your own life honestly with yourself is not as easy as you think. It is something you can ask no other mortal to do with you. You can consult your Priest or your best friend, but only with yourself can you reach satisfaction or not.

It has been a hard couple of months, hopefully it will be a hard many more years.  Maybe I can tip the scales a little more in my favor.

My Friday night music pick not the best version, but the version by the writer.

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ATW FRIDAY JUKEBOX….

By David Vance On October 24th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

So, I’m back and so is my philistine musical sense! I like this…

ATW FRIDAY NIGHT JUKEBOX

By Pete Moore On October 24th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Because Friday night is Music Night.

I was down in Gosport this week, which put me in mind of the old sea shanty Gosport Nancy. She sounds like a game girl. It seems no-one knows who penned it, but someone penned a good’un. We haven’t had the great Bellowhead in these here parts before, so let’s go with their version, which is a top tune I reckon.

As always, feel free to link to your Friday night sounds –

“Gosport ladies love their gargle, Gosport girls they goes their tot;
Rum and brandy, gin and shandy, Gosport girls will drink the lot;

All the Gosport ladies, They swigs the flowing can,
But for knocking it back with Honest Jack, There’s none like Gosport Nan!”

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Uisce Beatha

By David Vance On October 24th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

ATW patron (!) Seimi has written a new piece which I am pleased to publish for you.

“I, like many other young Irish speakers in the North, spent some of the happiest memories of my childhood in Donegal. Every year, hundreds of young teenagers would descend upon the Gaeltacht areas, and there we would spend 3 weeks immersed in the language and culture of our country. Classes in the morning, activities such as traditional singing and learning ceilí dancing in the afternoon, and then the chance to practice our newly-learned moves at the ceilí that night.

Although for many, the 3 week college would start with some tears and homesickness, it ended with almost everyone in tears on the final morning, as we all said our goodbyes to new-found friends, and left on our respective coaches to return home with lists of addresses and pockets full of promises to stay in touch. To this day, I am still good friends with people whom I initially met on a cold, wet morning in Machaire Rabhartaigh when I was 13.

The Gaeltacht colleges have been a mainstay of Irish medium education for NI’s young Irish speakers for generations, but this may all be about to change. Why? Because of water. From the 1st of October this year, residents of the Irish Republic have been billed for their water, despite over-whelming opposition. The bills, which can run into the hundreds of Euros per household, may well spell the end for the traditional ‘Bean a’ Tí’ (Woman of the House).

It’s hard enough to pay for water for your own family, without having to cope with the addition of up to a dozen teenagers for up to 9 weeks during the summer and, in some cases, a further 2 weeks at Easter and in October.

For an institution which creates things like this , or this , as well as instilling a love for the language and culture which stays with the young people throughout their lives, to end over something as basic as water, is nothing short of criminal.

I, like many other young Irish speakers in the North, spent some of the happiest memories of my childhood in Donegal. Every year, hundreds of young teenagers would descend upon the Gaeltacht areas, and there we would spend 3 weeks immersed in the language and culture of our country. Classes in the morning, activities such as traditional singing and learning ceilí dancing in the afternoon, and then the chance to practice our newly-learned moves at the ceilí that night.

Although for many, the 3 week college would start with some tears and homesickness, it ended with almost everyone in tears on the final morning, as we all said our goodbyes to new-found friends, and left on our respective coaches to return home with lists of addresses and pockets full of promises to stay in touch. To this day, I am still good friends with people whom I initially met on a cold, wet morning in Machaire Rabhartaigh when I was 13.

The Gaeltacht colleges have been a mainstay of Irish medium education for NI’s young Irish speakers for generations, but this may all be about to change. Why? Because of water. From the 1st of October this year, residents of the Irish Republic have been billed for their water, despite over-whelming opposition. The bills, which can run into the hundreds of Euros per household, may well spell the end for the traditional ‘Bean a’ Tí’ (Woman of the House).

It’s hard enough to pay for water for your own family, without having to cope with the addition of up to a dozen teenagers for up to 9 weeks during the summer and, in some cases, a further 2 weeks at Easter and in October.

For an institution which creates things like this , or this , as well as instilling a love for the language and culture which stays with the young people throughout their lives, to end over something as basic as water, is nothing short of criminal.”

THE VAMPIRES IN BRUSSELS!

By David Vance On October 24th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Unknown

I wonder can Cameron find the noose tightening around his neck?

The UK has been told it must pay an extra £1.7bn (2.1bn euros) towards the European Union’s budget because the economy has performed better than expected in recent years. The payment follows new calculations by the EU that determine how much each member state should contribute. It would add about a fifth to the UK’s annual net contribution of £8.6bn.

Now then, a few simple points;

1. The European Commission seeks to punish the UK because our economy is performing so much better than the majority of basket-cases in Europe.  That £1.7 BILLION would be much better spend in the UK, on UK needs.

2. Cameron can stamp his feet all day long and complain all night BUT I think the substantive point is that whilst he insists on staying in the club then you must carry the costs of such. Talk of “reform” is painfully vacuous.

3. This will FURTHER add to the UKIP success story at the Rochester and Strood by-election next month when it seems that UKIP will gain yet ANOTHER Westminster seat and cause major distress to the weak -willed Conservative leadership.

The Conservatives are between a rock and a UKIP place and Cameron is on a beaten docket.

THE HEAT IN HARLEM…

By David Vance On October 24th, 2014 at 1:05 pm

This, of course, was inevitable.

A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea became the first person in the city to test positive for the virus Thursday, setting off a search for anyone who might have come into contact with him. The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center and placed in isolation at the same time as investigators sought to retrace every step he had taken over the past several days.

Now then, I hope that this can be contained and that Dr Spencer recovers. But isn’t there a certain recklessness amongst the do-gooder community that has to be dealt with in this regard ? Surely we must question Dr Spencer’s judgement and actions since his return? I wonder how new Yorkers will feel if this virus breaks out in a broader fashion? Allowing those who travel to west Africa to return to the USA without some degree of quarantine period seems mad to me? Thoughts?

HELLO!

By David Vance On October 24th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Hello there strangers! Rumours that I have converted to Islam and am now living in the foothills of Jihadistan are untrue. Instead I was in Paris! Got back late Monday and have been busy ever since so only now catching up. Would you believe it but on Tuesday there was no water to house. On Wednesday there was no power (and again last evening) so it’s been a less than impressive return to N. Ireland. I was on the BBC Nolan TV programme on Wednesday evening – UK readers can view it here at 14 minutes in. I was covering the issue of whether we should provide even MORE public funding to the Ulster Orchestra. I said no. It costs £4m to run and makes 400k per year so it loses £3.6m per year. This is a failed model based on dependency and subsidy and needs to change! I love music, I love classical music but I see no reason to fund this bankrupt model. Hope you liked my Shakespearean references. BTW – since that interview I am aware of even more reasons to object to the begging bowl of mindset of Sir George Bain. As you can see, I’m not mellowing!!!

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Obama Has Outperformed Reagan on Jobs, Growth and Investing

By Phantom On October 24th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Reagan vs Obama

You might think it’s a cold day in hell when a conservative business magazine says that a Democratic president has outperformed the holy Saint Reagan ( one of the Holy Trinity, along with Maggie Thatcher the Milk Snatcher, and the Polish Pope who never got around to throwing out the child molesters ).

But sometimes facts are so immutable that you have to just tip your hat to the Black Dictator, and say ” nice job “. I am sure that all here will agree that with the FACT ( ahem ) based conclusion of this article, which again, comes from Forbes, and not Mother Jones.

”President Reagan has long been considered the best modern economic President. So we compared his performance dealing with the oil-induced recession of the 1980s with that of President Obama and his performance during this ‘Great Recession.’

“As this unemployment chart shows, President Obama’s job creation kept unemployment from peaking at as high a level as President Reagan, and promoted people into the workforce faster than President Reagan.

“President Obama has achieved a 6.1% unemployment rate in his sixth year, fully one year faster than President Reagan did. At this point in his presidency, President Reagan was still struggling with 7.1% unemployment, and he did not reach into the mid-low 6% range for another full year. So, despite today’s number, the Obama administration has still done considerably better at job creating and reducing unemployment than did the Reagan administration.

And oh yea, the stock market – the barometer of long term investor sentiment on profits — has done better under Obama than under the guy who sent weapons to terrorists also.

Obama – who I opposed both times – has done a much better job than the GOP bla bla bla guys say. Can we at least agree on that?

THE DEADBEAT DAD POLICE

By Pete Moore On October 24th, 2014 at 11:39 am

Bob Robinson was an undercover copper. He must have been good at it. He not only infiltrated the Animal Liberation Front (a militant bunch), he had a relationship with a young female activist (“Jacqui”) and had a child with her. What a happy picture.

Bob Lambert undercover policeman spy

And then one day he vanished, leaving Jacqui and his child high and dry. She only discovered that Bob Robinson was actually Bob Lambert, undercopper copper, 24 years later when she saw his face in a newspaper. She also discovered that he was already a married father of two children when he duped her all those years before.

The Stasi would have been proud of such a dedicated and intimately involved State spying operative.

Of course the Metropolitan Police did what it does best: it blocked Jacqui, obfuscated and justified its duplicity before caving in and giving her £425,000 of tax-victims cash. Absent fathers are usually chased for their own money, but it’s different for the special class of State-badged spies. Of course Jacqui wasn’t the only victim of sexual and psychological abuse by the Met. Other similar cases are in the hands of lawyers.

Bob Lambert is now a lecturer. His bio shows that Jacqui wasn’t the only victim of the Met’s sexual stakhanovite. He infiltrated many groups and had a number of sexual relationships. In order to boost his image as an activist, his Met colleagues helpfully raided the home of a women he bonked after doing a runner from Jacqui.

There’s another lesson here. Lambert wasn’t just an undercover copper with a hard on. He infiltrated many groups and was an agent provocateur too. Yes, it really does happen. The movement doesn’t have to be particularly dubious. If it has a few members the State will want to know what’s going on, and in come the Bob Lamberts.